Western Vacation: Old Faithful area

We got early the first morning at Old Faithful and hiked to the top of the Observation Point. It commanded a wide view of Old Faithful Inn, the geyser basin, and Old Faithful Geyser. 


Greta was bundled up – not used to 40 degrees in the morning!  
Old Faithful Geyser was warming up for an eruption. We didn’t last long enough though, breakfast was calling.
Left, we did see Beehive (I think) erupt.  Right, Old Faithful just after erupting. 

After breakfast we headed out to see some sites.  We started in Midway Geyser Basin to see Grand Prismatic Spring.  This is a popular stop, so hitting it early in the day is key.  

The early morning steam actually impeded our views of some of the pools.  The size of Midway basin is larger than that of many other features – the hot pools are on a massive scale.

The run-off from Grand Prismatic is a vivid orange.  This is due to the thermophiles that thrive in the hot waters of this hot spring.  The center is a blue, fading to a greenish, then to yellow, and then orange and red. Here is a nice aerial view of this well-known hot spring.  
Grand Prismatic is Yellowstone’s largest hot pool, measuring about 370 feet in diameter and over 121 feet deep.  
We enjoyed the clear blue day and the steam from the hot pools. 

Our next stop was at Artist Paint Pots.  This is a nice trail/boardwalk that takes you around some thermal features at the road level and then the trail climbs up into the hillside with a nice overlook. 

The view of Artist Paint Pots below.  Artist Paint Pots are named for the colorful hot pools like those of artists’ paints. 

My favorite part of Artist Paint Pots are the mud hot pools.  These bubble and splurt away – think hot bubbling oatmeal as the consistency.  

We headed north again toward the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  

It is aptly named for its steep canyon walls.  

We took a very steep hike down to Lower Falls.  

Lower Falls is 308 feet tall and twice the height of Niagara Falls.  During peak water run-off it can expel 63, 500 gallons of water per second. Eric’s view and my view.          
                                                  
After our views of Lower Falls, we headed back to the Inn.  Again, we were just in time for Old Faithful’s eruption.  The best location to watch Old Faithful is from the second floor viewing deck in the Inn.  You have access to lovely benches, tables, and a second floor lobby with tables and its own bar.  We met up with my dad’s brother, Dick and his daughter, Molly on our last night at in Yellowstone.  

Greta thoroughly enjoyed this second floor viewing deck as well .  We moved on to dinner in the Old Faithful dining room after this.  Their menu has been updated to reflect Western fare, including elk, bison, and trout.  I was impressed with the level of quality on this trip. 

After dinner we made the mile and half or so trek down to Morning Glory Pool.  This pool’s color has been changed due to humans throwing debris into the pool.  It used to be a much deeper blue hue, like that of a morning glory flower.  After vacuuming as much debris out as possible, some of the color has returned.  

We waited around with a sleeping Greta and watched Daisy geyser erupt as well. 

Old Faithful has so many happy childhood memories.  I miss this place so much already, and look forward to subsequent trips.  I hope that Greta will have some of the same memories of this magical place as I have. 

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